Go to the Mirror!

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"Go to the Mirror!"
Go to the Mirror label.jpg
Single by The Who
from the album Tommy
B-side"I'm Free"
ReleasedMay 23, 1969
RecordedSeptember 19, 1968 to March 7, 1969
GenreHard rock[1]
Songwriter(s)Pete Townshend
Producer(s)Kit Lambert
The Who singles chronology
"Pinball Wizard"
"Go to the Mirror!"
"I'm Free"

"Go to the Mirror!" is a song written by Pete Townshend of the Who. It appears as the fifteenth track on the group's first rock opera, Tommy (1969). "Go to the Mirror!" is included on the list of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll.


Author Chris Charlesworth describes "Go to the Mirror!" as a "key Tommy song."[2] The song advances the plot describing Tommy's healing process progressing through his ability to see his reflection.[2]

It is sung by a doctor who tells Tommy's parents that, after numerous tests, there is nothing medically wrong with him, and his problems, while very real ("He seems to be completely unreceptive / The tests I gave him show no sense at all"), are psychosomatic ("All hope lies with him, and none with me"). However, as they are trying to reach him, Tommy's subconscious is also trying to reach out to them ("See me, feel me / Touch me, heal me").

In the movie version of Tommy, the doctor is played by Jack Nicholson.

The song invokes two recurring themes of the album, "See Me, Feel Me", and "Listening to You", which first appear (in lyric form) as the "Christmas" interlude, and is also the song cycle's finale (as part of the track "We're Not Gonna Take It"); this version in "Go to the Mirror!" is sung by Pete Townshend rather than Roger Daltrey. Though Daltrey sings the majority of Tommy's parts, here he has been singing as the Doctor, so Townshend singing as Tommy provides effective contrast.

The original demo Townshend recorded for the song includes one extra verse not used in the final recording, "I've kicked him, licked him, rubbed him, hit him, loved him / Everything in vain to let him know / I'm here my son, your dad, I wait for your sign / And in my heart frustration overflows." The song was also to be followed by the 10-second track titled "Success," but it was ultimately dropped.

The repeating chords in this song are E, B, and A. After two lines with those chords, the third line goes from a G# into a C#m (then two hits on a B chord to end the line.) The fourth and final line of the chorus is almost all on A chords and ends on a B7.


"Go to the Mirror!" was released as a single in Australia, backed with "I'm Free".[3]



  1. ^ Jacob Hoye; VH1 (Firm) (2003). 100 Greatest Albums. Simon and Schuster. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-7434-4876-5.
  2. ^ a b Charlesworth, C. (1995). The Complete Guide to the Music of the Who. Omnibus Press. p. 28. ISBN 0711943060.
  3. ^ "Go to the Mirror! / I'm Free by The Who (Single, Rock): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list". Rate Your Music. Retrieved 2016-10-02.